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Above the East China Sea: A novel by [Bird, Sarah]
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Above the East China Sea: A novel Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews

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Length: 338 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Obon, the Buddhist festival of the dead, provides the frame for Bird’s novel about two girls who live in the same place, the Okinawa Prefecture of Japan, but at different times. Tamiko, a 15-year-old schoolgirl, leaves home with her sister, Hatsuko, to take part in Japan’s desperate, last-ditch defense against the Americans in 1945. More than 60 years later, Luz James, a part-Okinawan military brat living at Kadena Air Base, is grieving for her own sister, who was killed while serving with the air force in Afghanistan. Bird uses distinct voices to weave her narrative. Luz’s voice convincingly captures a smart but troubled contemporary teen, while Tamiko’s voice reflects her place in a very different culture. Readers won’t soon forget Tamiko’s searing depiction of her experiences during the Battle of Okinawa, when more than one-third of the local population was killed or committed suicide. Links between the two girls, hinted at early on, crystallize as Luz’s quest to learn more about her ancestors takes her deeper into the past and into the traditions that still exert a hold on daily Okinawan life. Bird, whose other novels include the well-received Yokota Officers Club (2001), has delivered a multilayered and utterly involving work with plenty of grist for book discussions. --Mary Ellen Quinn

Review

“A stunning account of wartime Okinawa. . . . Wise and sensitive.” —Anthony Marra, San Francisco Chronicle

“Extraordinary. . . . A major display of literary talent—an absolutely don’t-miss novel.” —The Washington Times

“Richly rewarding. . . . Finely wrought.” —Chicago Tribune (Editor's Choice)
 
“Bird’s fine novel suggests that . . . ancient beliefs can still provide comfort and connection in a modern world.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Engaging, haunting, and illuminating. . . . A unique tale of friendship that defies time and space. . . . Poignant and deeply memorable.” —The Daily Beast

“Compelling. . . . Bird deftly captures the unique, era-appropriate voice of each girl. . . . Revelations are at once heartbreaking and uplifting, and reinforce an Okinawan expression uttered by many of Birds’ unforgettable characters: ‘Nuchi du takara.’ Life is the treasure.” —The Seattle Times

“A moving dual coming-of-age story.” —Marie Claire

“This is the rare tome that has the goods for both popular and critical acclaim at the highest level. . . . After this book, Bird should be a literary household name.” —The Dallas Morning News

“Revelatory.” —Reader’s Digest

 “Gripping. . . . This tale of how women and girls survive bloody times manages its happy ending without offering easy answers—quite a feat for such an entertaining read.” —The Austin Chronicle

“To my mind, Bird is the finest living Texas novelist, and Above the East China Sea showcases all of her gifts in spades—her unmistakable voice displays warmth, wit, and that rare variety of irreverence that possesses real heart.” —Robert Leleux, The Texas Observer

“[Bird] has penned elegiac novels of tremendous depth and richness. . . . [Her] latest—Above the East China Sea, a return to her military-brat youth in Asia—may be her best.” —San Antonio Express-News

 “Fascinating. . . . Above the East China Sea provides welcome context to the news reports from an island whose pivotal place in global power politics remains mostly unexamined.” —BookPage

“[Has] immense teen appeal. . . Teens will be turning pages quickly.” —School Library Journal
“An extraordinary novel. . . . Intermingles past and present young adult lives, with entertaining banter plus a touch of the supernatural. . . . A gratifying read. Highly recommended.” —Historical Novel Society

“Readers won’t soon forget Tamiko’s searing depiction of her experiences during the Battle of Okinawa. . . . A multilayered and utterly involving work.” —Booklist

“A rich and engrossing achievement. . . . A suspenseful and magical journey.” —Library Journal

“Fascinating. . . . Ambitious and rewarding. . . . [A] powerful sense of history and place.” —Publishers Weekly


Product details

  • File Size: 2988 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (May 27, 2014)
  • Publication Date: May 27, 2014
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H12A0NW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,023 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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